Raffles City & VivoCity malls are in China. They’re marketing icons for S’pore.

These familiar names have ventured to China.

By Tanya Ong | February 27, 2018

Everyone who is Singaporean will know Raffles City and VivoCity.

However, these malls aren’t limited to just Singapore.

In fact, each of these malls can be found in various cities in China.

Developments in China

To seek more growth and diversification, many Singapore developers have expanded overseas to countries such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Australia.

By venturing overseas, developers are no longer constrained to the Singapore market.

And with China’s fast-growing economy, many developers are looking to emerging Chinese cities.

Additionally, in 2007, then-Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew mentioned the merits of overseas developments, stating that these properties can become “another marketing icon for Singapore.”

Hence, Raffles City and VivoCity in China also serve to extend Singapore’s global footprint.

Raffles City in China

CapitaLand’s first “Raffles City” development opened in Singapore in 1986.

Photo from Raffles City Singapore Facebook.

In the 2000s, the brand was brought to China, starting with Raffles City Shanghai.

Currently, there are multiple CapitaLand-owned Raffles City properties all over China.

For instance, they can be found in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Changning, and Shenzhen.

These are some of them:

Raffles City Changning. Photo from CapitaLand.
Raffles City Shanghai. Photo from CapitaLand.
Raffles City Hangzhou. Photo from CapitaLand.
Raffles City Chengdu. Photo from CapitaLand.

Their newest development, Raffles City Chongqing, is slated to open in 2019.

The building also pushes boundaries. It now holds the world’s record for the development with the highest sky bridge linking the most number of towers.

Raffles City Chongqing. Photo from CapitaLand.

The name “Raffles City”

According to CapitaLand, the name “Raffles” is synonymous with Singapore, as Sir Stamford Raffles is known for modern Singapore’s founding.

The term “City” refers to the central location of the development as they are “designed to be urban icons within business or cultural districts in global gateway cities.”

According to a CapitaLand spokesperson, she told Mothership.sg that locations in emerging cities with potential growth are usually chosen for Raffles City integrated developments.

This is so that the mall would have become an icon by the time the city is fully developed.

VivoCity China

Apart from Raffles City, there are also several VivoCity malls in China owned by Mapletree.

They can be found in Shanghai and Foshan (Nanhai).

VivoCity Shanghai. Photo from Mapletree.
VivoCity Nanhai. Photo from Mapletree.

These properties in China serve not only as a marketing icon for Singapore, but also a means for local developers to expand overseas.

And for Singaporeans who go there, they can experience an eerie deja vu feeling.

Top photo from Mapletree and CapitaLand

1819 is a labour of love by Mothership.sg. We tell stories from Singapore’s history, heritage & culture. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Tanya Ong

Tanya knows pi to the 35th decimal place for absolutely no reason at all.

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